Have you taken a good look at your roof lately? I mean really taken a good up close look. Would you know how to tell when it is time have a roofing professional take a look at your roof? Or have you been purposely ignoring the obvious warning signs that you may need to have your roof examined simply because you fear the thought of what it will cost to repair or replace your roof, if indeed a problem is found? Which ever the case, you’re not alone. In fact you are like so many other home owners who just don’t have the time or money or patience for another home repair project, another expense, basically another headache to have to budget for. You may have been saving for a family trip, a new car, or even renovating one of the rooms in your home and think that you just can’t afford right now. So you ignore the signs and you put it off in favor of the new car, the family trip, or the master bathroom renovation. But unfortunately roof repair is not something you want to put on the back burner, as it can end up costing you substantially more money down the road, if it’s not already costing you more money now!
So you may be asking yourself “how do I know if I indeed need to have my roof repaired or replaced, or if I just need to have it cleaned?” Well you could always call a roofing contractor and request an inspection. Most roofing contractors offer free inspections and can even assist you with getting your homeowner’s insurance to cover most if not all of the cost if it is a result of some kind of hail or storm damage. If you are still not convinced you should call a roofing specialist here are nine warning signs that will let you know that you surely need to have your roof repaired or even replaced. Most of these signs can be seen from the ground and by looking in your attic if accessible. If you choose to get on the roof itself and inspect please use caution as the granules of the roofing shingles could be loose and cause you to slip and possibly fall. So BE CAREFUL!
1. Dark stained or dirty-looking areas on your roof. One of the most likely causes of any dark or stained looking areas on your roof is a result fungi or algae growth which in turn causes the roof to appear abnormally black or dirty in certain areas. This problem often occurs in warm, humid climates such as the southeastern part of the country. This can be a problem for your roof as the algae or mold starts eat away at the shingle base causing them to loosen and decay. If you spot any dark areas on your roof and are apprehensive of climbing on your roof to get a better look then contact a trusted roofing contractor to inspect your roof and determine if the stains are indeed algae growth and to what extent. It is better to address potential mold growth before it spreads to other parts of the roof making this headache and the potential hit to your wallet even worse than you thought it may be.
2. Shingle and sheathing deterioration. Deterioration of the shingles, or even worse the sheathing of a roof, can be caused by a number of factors; one of which is mentioned previously. Mold and algae can eat away at the organic base of shingles causing them to decay. If this problem goes on undetected and reaches the sheathing panels then it may be too late as the sheathing is the connection between the shingles and the rafters of the roof. If this connection is weak then it makes your roof even more vulnerable to loss during potentially high winds during storms can eventually compromise the integrity of your roof. If your roof appears to be sagging in areas it could be a sign of a much larger problem called roof rot which could lead to the possible collapse of your roof. By having a roofing professional inspect your roof you could be avoiding additional repair costs to not only your roof but to the interior of your home.
3. Missing, buckled, cracked or curled shingles. All of these signs are usually indications that they may be near the end of their useful life. Due in part to time and prolonged exposure to the different elements mother nature may throw at them, the shingles on your unfortunately will not last forever. In fact the useful life of your typical asphalt/fiberglass shingle is 20-25 years depending on where you live in the country and the quality of the shingle manufacturer among other factors. Over time the granules that add color to and protect the shingle material from UV rays begins to fall off exposing the material to the elements. Over time this exposure causes the shingles to crack or curl upwards at the edges. Sometimes this cracking can eventually lead to shingles breaking into pieces and flying off the roof or buckling during storms with really high winds.
4. Blistering and/or peeling of outside paint. This is one of the easiest warning signs to spot. But all too often this sign goes on ignored or attributed to something other than what is most likely causing the problem. This blistering or peeling of outside paint is usually the result of excessive moisture or high humidity due to poor ventilation especially in the attic. Inadequate ventilation results in hot air being trapped and built up in the attic. This excess heat can not only cook or in essence bake the roofing shingles but it also cause bubbling, blistering and peeling of the exterior paint around the gables and eaves and even the siding. Having properly working attic fans as well as bathroom exhausts are vital to avoiding this issue in your home and as it pertains to your roof.
5. Water marks on the ceilings and/or interior mildew growth. Not all of the signs of the need for possible roof repair or replacement can be seen from outside your home. Some signs are closer than you may realize until it is nearly too late. Yes we’re talking about roof leaks. Leaks are usually difficult to detect until it is nearly too late, and just as hard to pinpoint their origin. Roofing leaks may be a result of insufficient underlayment or deteriorating flashing which can repaired inexpensively. On the other hand they may possibly be the result of a much larger and widespread problem that could end up costing you your next vacation or year end bonus if you don’t watch out! Unfortunately the origin of a leak is usually hard to detect as the water may run down the rafters or a chimney, or even into the drywall of your ceiling where it can collect and build up. This build up and trapping of water and moisture can lead to not only mold problems but also eventual cracks and leaks in your ceiling as the water deteriorates the sheet rock. Now you have an even bigger problem. If you start to see signs of water marks on the ceiling you should immediately call a roofing professional to inspect the problem before gets any worse. Having regular home inspections once a year is a smart way avoid undetected repair issues with your roof and the rest of your home. Its always better to address any repair issues before they are compounded by the passing of time.
6. Excessive energy costs.. More and more homes today are being designed and built with energy efficiency in mind. From the building materials contractors use down to the appliances we choose for our homes, the green initiative is catching on with homeowners and builders alike. For those who live in homes older homes there are an abundance of light repair projects that can turn that older drafty home into a more modern model of efficiency. One important area of the house to look to for at first is your roof as it can provide you with good indicator if you are experiencing an increase in the cost heat and cool your home. If not properly ventilated warm air can build up in your attic causing your utility bills to rise excessively in the hot summer months when you are trying to keep the house cool, as well as in the winter when you and your family are trying to stay warm. A properly installed roof provides for ample ventilation and not having proper ventilation can lead to not only excessive energy costs but also premature roof failure. Often times what might be considered a small repair job can extend the life of your roof. Having a roofing specialist inspect the ventilation in your attic and roof can end up saving you lots of money down the road.
So now that you know these important warning signs to spot you can avoid the pain and hassle of dealing with a potentially much larger and costly project than you may have the stomach for. You don’t have to sacrifice that down payment on a new car or that family vacation you were planning to take, but only if you act now before it is too late. Remember, most roofing contractors offer a free inspection so it costs you nothing to at least have your roof looked at for potential problems that can usually be repaired for less than you may think. Just make sure you do your homework and get quotes from several different candidates as well as references. Also check to make sure any potential candidate is properly licensed and bonded, and that they offer a warranty or guarantee. By being proactive and finding the right contractor for the job you can avoid bigger problems down the road.